Africa Diaspora Marketplace III

Competition Deadlines

The ADM III Concept Note Phase runs from December 12, 2014 - March 7, 2015; all concept papers must be submitted by 11:59 PM EST on March 7, 2015. The ADM III Business Plan Phase runs from April 22, 2015 - May 20, 2015; all business plans must be submitted by 11:59 PM EST on May 20, 2015. Please Click here for the full competition timetable.

General Eligibility Requirements

ADM III is open to all US citizens or permanent residents who are members of the African diaspora community and others who have a demonstrated relevant connection to, or experience in, Africa.

ADM Diaspora Definition

African Diaspora consists of people of African origin. African origin includes people of African descent, not only first generation immigrants.

Ownership Criteria

ADM III applications must be submitted by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who owns at least 25 percent of the business and will be an active member of the applicant business’ management team. Ownership is defined as having a legally verifiable equity stake in the business. Companies whose proposals advance to the third and final round will be required to provide documentation detailing the ownership structure.

Business Lifecycle Phase

The participating business must be a start-up or established for-profit business seeking to commence or expand production of goods or delivery of services in an eligible African country of implementation.

Legal Registration Requirement

The participating business must be legally registered in the African country of implementation. Businesses that are not yet legally registered may also participate in the competition provided they become legally incorporated in an eligible country before advancing to the third and final round of the competition. In addition, competing businesses will be required to show proof that the business has a physical presence in the country of implementation before completion of the grant agreement (approximately 12 weeks after award announcement) should the business be selected to receive ADM resources.

Eligible Countries of Implementation

Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Cote D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia

Matching Contribution

Applications must demonstrate a minimum of one-to-one leverage ratio of applicant contributions to ADM grant funding. Proposals that offer to leverage beyond that are viewed favorably. At least some portion of the leverage must be in the form of a financial contribution. In addition to monetary contributions, independently verifiable and tangible in-kind resources such as property, equipment, and supplies are acceptable. Applications must clearly specify the contributions of each party and indicate the cash value of in-kind support. Labor will not qualify as ‘in-kind.’ No grants funds will be disbursed without proof of matching contribution.

Project Implementation Timeframe

Proposed business activities to be funded by the ADM award must be completed within 12 months of receiving the initial disbursement from ADM (see ADM Timeline).

Eligible Sectors

Proposals will be accepted for commercially viable businesses operating in all sectors except those restricted by USAID regulations (see ADM General Restrictions and Prohibitions).
Acceptable business proposals should leverage Information and Communication Technology (ICT) either wholly or as a component of the business. ICT is an umbrella term that includes any communication device or application, encompassing: radio, television, cellular phones, computer and network hardware and software, satellite systems and so on, as well as the various web-based services and applications associated with them, such as social media, internet marketing, e-commerce, distance learning, etc. that improve efficiency/quality, provide improved customer benefits or reduce operating costs.
Businesses that compete with Western Union, such as mobile payments and money transfer services, are excluded from the competition.

Financial Management Systems and Reporting Requirements

All businesses applying for ADM III support must have in place a financial management system that allows for an accurate, current and complete disclosure of the financial results for programs or projects funded by ADM funds, including accounting records that are supported by source documentation. Applicants should have effective control over and accountability for all funds, property and other assets acquired using ADM funds. Grant recipients must be willing to provide income statements quarterly and balance sheet statements twice per year.

Other Reporting Requirements

Grant recipients must be willing to provide other non-financial economic development information such as overall employment, training, gender participation in workforce, etc.


ADM will not consider proposals that are not in compliance with ADM General Restrictions and Prohibitions.

ADM will not consider applications from or in partnership with:

  • Not-for-profit organizations, government institutions (national, regional or local).
  • Employees, contractors, or family members of any participating sponsors (USAID, Western Union, Homestrings, the Small Enterprise Assistance Funds, The Arthur Group, Deloitte, George Washington University or the Minority Business Development Agency).
  • ADM I or II Awardees, ADM judges, TA providers, or consultants.
  • Entities listed in "Parties Excluded from Federal Procurement or Non-procurement Programs."
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